Effects of Varying Levels of Leucaena Leucocephala Leaf Meal Diet on the Growth Performance of Weaner Rabbi
Adedeji, O. S.; Amao, S. R.; Ameen, S. A.; Adedeji, T. A. and Ayandiran, T. A.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
This study examines the effect of varying levels of Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal diet on the growth performance of weaner rabbit. The purpose of this study is to examine the nutritional worth of including Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal as a plant protein source in the diet of rabbits. Twelve weaner rabbits were used for the study with four diet groups containng 0, 5, 10 and 15% Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal and measurements taken in a 50 day experimental period were: final body weight gain, feed intake, feed efficiency ratio, and digestibility coefficient for crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract and ash contents. Three rabbits were randomly allotted to each dietary treatment after balancing for sex and body weight, and kept in individual pens. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance. Results show that the body weight gain of the rabbits decreased as the proportion of Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal in the diets increased, except with 10% inclusion. The final body weights were 1.23kg, 1.12kg, 1.29kg, and 1.00kg for 0, 5, 10 and 15% inclusions, respectively. Average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were 106.7, 109.8, 109.6 and 73.9kg and 7.13, 10.54, 6.88 and 12.29 for the respective diets/inclusions. Digestibility coefficient for crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract and ash contents were not significantly influenced by the dietary treatments. Though the study asserts that Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal had adverse effects on the feed intake, body weight gain, nutrient digestibility, and growth performance when it is included in the ratio beyond 10% level of rabbit diet, yet the inclusion of 10% Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal in the diet of weaner rabbits ensured optimum performance and is, therefore encouraged as a healthy practice.